Watch out: We’re going to drop the g-word. Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean forfeiting a good, quality (or drool-worthy) meal anymore. Indeed, Pittsburgh is popping when it comes to wheat-free menu options, so we’ve outlined the top places to get your gluten-free groove on.
Whether you are Celiac, have a dietary sensitivity, or are avoiding the gluey protein like the plague, fill up on these healthy eats without worry.
This concept kitchen located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Strip District is a not-to-miss dining experience. With the goal of showcasing local culinary talent, the 200 open-seating restaurant acts as a launch pad for undiscovered chefs with each menu as eclectic, innovative, and – you guessed it – gluten-free friendly as the next (though, Josephine’s Toast might not be your jam)! And while you wait for your order to pop up, hang out at the bar where you can find local brews and ciders on tap, a laugh-out-loud cocktail menu, and a high concentration of flannel-wearing hipsters.
It’s a tough task to tackle gluten-free pizza, but Giovanni’s does it right (it’s the wonderment you smell when leaving class at South Hills Power Yoga in Dormont). They still use their signature sauce and toppings, while sparing little taste on their medium personal- (we use this term loosely) sized pie. If you’re in the mood for a hoagie or pasta, they also have a solid offering of gluten-free items loaded with cheesy goodness and hearty veggies. Bonus: They now deliver wine!
Franks are at the heart of this fast-casual eatery, but look a little deeper and you will find plenty of gluten-free, veg, and even vegan options at both their Lawrenceville and downtown locations. Grab one of their classic franks, the Chicago Imposter to be exact. It’s brimming with relish, onion, banana peppers, pickles, tomato and poppy seed; hug it with a GF bun and wash it all down with a bottle of Glütiny Golden Ale.
We know, we know, this is a “chain” by definition. But it’s a local chain that’s doing it right. This burger joint is gluten-free friendly – and proud. Burgatory now totals seven Burgh locations, so no matter where you call home, you can pretty much find a gooey cheeseburger flanked by a GF bun in no time.
This Shadyside spot takes healthy eating to a whole new level. In addition to being gluten-free, almost everything on Spinach’s menu is raw, vegan, and downright delicious…making you wonder what kind of sorcery the chefs are cooking with in the kitchen. If you have to choose one meal here (we hope that’s not the case) opt for brunch; did someone say vegan French toast?!
Double Wide Grill
This South Side staple is not only gluten-free-friendly (with an extensive GF menu), but it also claims an inventive vegan and veg-friendly menu that could cure anyone’s hangover, read: portabella burger. Order one and you can skip the coffee, we promise.
Where else can you go and score gluten-free pancakes without sacrificing the doughy, fluffy consistency of a traditional flapjack? This Regent Square café goes out of their way to accommodate dietary needs, bringing the community together around vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free fare, with a fresh, local flare.
Over the Bar Cafe
North Park’s crown jewel (with another location in South Side) could have easily offered burgers and fries and called it a day, after all, OTB is nestled right on the lake (complete with fire pits and a comprehensive beer selection). But they stepped up their health game to match the intensity of those running, biking, hiking, or paddling around the park. If you look closely, there are plenty of gluten-free and veg-friendly options, and if you ask (nicely, of course) you can order from their secret Paleo menu.
While line may be long at times at their cozy Lawrenceville spot , it’s always worth the wait. Coca Cafe offers something for everyone – and we mean everyone! If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies, Coca Cafe is ready and willing to alter most menu items to make them A-OK for vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free eaters.
GROCERS & BAKED GOODS
Gluten Free Goat
With their first brick-and-mortar bakery and café to open this fall in Garfield, Gluten Free Goat is set to offer an impressive spread of gluten-free, organic products including salads, soups, baked goods, paninis, waffles, and more! Our little secret: Their baked goods actually taste better than their gluten-filled counterparts.
Sunny Bridge Foods
Supplying the South Hills since 2002, Sunny Bridge’s menu features gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan-friendly options. That means whether you’re looking for a bite or consider yourself a brilliant GF chef at home, it’s a. can’t-miss choice for folks who like delicious and nutritious foods.
This spot in Squirrel Hill has been supplying Pittsburgh with gluten-free baked goods since 2007! All the while, they’ve been baking everything in-house, from scratch, by hand, daily. It’s how they fulfill their mission: to provide the best tasting and freshest allergy-friendly treats around. From cakes to cookies, cupcakes to pizza, and even DIY baking mixes, Gluuteny is a gluten-free go-to.
It’s easy to confuse this food barn-slash-emporium (tucked behind Soergel’s Market) with a health mirage. It’s a downright haven for gluten-free, allergen-free, all-natural, and organic products. They have the inventory and know-how required to meet every dietary need, making it a little difficult to leave without your hands full and wallet empty – but for good reason!
East End Food Co-op
East End Food Co-op is packed to the brim with local and organic foods. There’s no shortage of all-natural snacks, affordable bulk foods, and gluten-free goodness either. See for yourself after a grueling workout at Pittsburgh’s Climbing Wall – with the storefronts literally attached, it’s hard to find an excuse not to.
Tucked right off the beaten path in Mt. Lebanon, Eden’s is a family-owned health food corner store established to provide worry-free products to health- and allergy-conscious customers. It doesn’t hurt that they are less than a block from Picadilly – an artisan yogurt creamery that serves organic and vegan options. Dessert is good for you when it’s organic, right?